Are there two kinds of bluff?

Irexes

Irexes

Legend
Joined
Oct 10, 2006
Total posts
7,016
Chips
0
I've been getting decent results in MTTs for a while now, but over the last 6 months my game has evolved more than in the previous few years and to a postive effect on the usual size of my stack at critical points in tournaments.

A big part of this is my approach to aggression post-flop (and to the river) and identifying when to bluff. However it's not been about the mindless pushing of chips into the middle because I fancy a stab at the pot, it's about identifying one of two situations.

1) I believe that my opponent is weak

2) I believe that I can represent my own hand as strong

Suprisingly I don't think that it's that often that the two coincide and I'm trying to push them off weakness and represent strength at the same time. Although both are inevitably a factor I think it's usually one or the other.

My previous view of bluffing focussed largely on the representing strength and considering whether I could get away with "pretending" to have a good hand. I think that this form of bluff is difficult not least because it requires your opponent to put themselves in your position and think through what you have done at each street and perhaps fold some form of strength of their own on the basis of it. Most players are too focussed on their own actions to consider this and so it's hard to pull off.

However if instead of representing strength you bet when you suspect that your opponent has nothing (or very little) then it's much easier for them to look at their own cards and agree with you.

Many hands fall into this category where whoever bets first with conviction will take the pot because no-one has anything. There's many times where I'm certain that the other guy has nothing, but he's first into the pot and I'm forced to fold. It takes real balls to reraise in this situation (balls I sadly don't often possess).

Identifying these situations takes observation of betting patterns and attention to the texture of the flop but it's a reasonably exact science (as far as anything poker is).

The situations where it's possible to represent strength effectively are I think few and far between and though the rewards may sometimes be greater are less critical to success in MTTs.

Anyway, I'm rambling and failing to articulate something I've been thinking about for a while.

Nonsense or something other people have considered?
 
Egon Towst

Egon Towst

Cardschat Elite
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Total posts
6,794
Chips
0
Well, there`s definitely two kinds of bluff.

Those that work, and those that get called. :D
 
S

Sandro17

Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Total posts
25
Chips
0
You also have to remember that other factor you are forgeting.

Table Image

It's easier to bluff out a roack than a maniac. It's also easier for a rock to bluff than a maniac can. Maniacs tend to be called alot more when the bets are big than rocks do.
 
O

OneMoreBust

Rock Star
Joined
Sep 5, 2006
Total posts
264
Chips
0
Well, there`s definitely two kinds of bluff.

Those that work, and those that get called. :D

and those that get re-raised and embarrass you as you fold.. most people take maximum time on these to save face :)
 
O

OneMoreBust

Rock Star
Joined
Sep 5, 2006
Total posts
264
Chips
0
also half bluff
also drawing bluff


betting hard at a pot when you hold bottom pair is a bluff if you think they have a higher pair?

if you have a nut draw, but nothing, you can bet at the pot to get them to fold, and if they call and you hit, you have shown aggression before making your hand, so they are less likely to think you hit... helps to have a pair as well
 
Egon Towst

Egon Towst

Cardschat Elite
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Total posts
6,794
Chips
0
Being serious now, my favourite is the re-steal.

When everyone folds to the button, you`ll often see the last guy hesitate and then put in a standard raise of 3 BBs or so. Usually means he hasn`t got a strong hand but figures he might as well take the chance to steal.

If I`m in the blinds and I`ve got anything with half a chance of making a hand, (say any Ace, any King, couple of connectors, anything with a few outs), I figure I`m going to be no worse than him, and I`ll treble his bet.

Almost always takes it right there, and it certainly puts them off trying to steal your blind. :)
 
Irexes

Irexes

Legend
Joined
Oct 10, 2006
Total posts
7,016
Chips
0
Being serious now, my favourite is the re-steal.

When everyone folds to the button, you`ll often see the last guy hesitate and then put in a standard raise of 3 BBs or so. Usually means he hasn`t got a strong hand but figures he might as well take the chance to steal.

If I`m in the blinds and I`ve got anything with half a chance of making a hand, (say any Ace, any King, couple of connectors, anything with a few outs), I figure I`m going to be no worse than him, and I`ll treble his bet.

Almost always takes it right there, and it certainly puts them off trying to steal your blind. :)

Totally agree, and this I think is a bluff which is more based on the weakness of your opponents hand than representing the strength of yours. He thinks, "damn I've been caught" and folds not really considering the likely strength of your hand.

OneMoreBust said:
if you have a nut draw, but nothing, you can bet at the pot to get them to fold, and if they call and you hit, you have shown aggression before making your hand, so they are less likely to think you hit... helps to have a pair as well

Here it's a case of representing the strength of your own hand (possibly also based on table image) as greater than it actually is and trying to pressure them to fold on that basis. The perceived strength of your hand is the most important factor in the success of the bluff.

The two factors are definately combine in many cases, but I think usually the bluff is based on one more than the other whether it be a bluff, semi-bluff, steal, resteal or whatever.
 
Top